KNOW WHERE YOU STAND ON THE FUTURE OF O’DEVANEY GARDENS

Throughout the last four years, I have regularly updated you on the progress being made to ensure new homes are built in O’Devaney Gardens. In July 2018, actual construction work on the first 56 PUBLIC homes began. This building work is advancing well and is on schedule to be completed next year.

Separately, plans to build 769 new owner-occupier, more public and affordable homes on the rest of the O’Devaney Gardens lands have reached a stage where a draft development plan with a contractor has been agreed. For that development plan to be implemented, Councillors must vote to approve it and that vote is scheduled for October 7th next in City Hall. 

I will be VOTING to ADOPT this draft development plan. I have detailed my rationale for supporting the building of 824 new homes below. There has been much inaccurate and false information circulated about these plans. I want to clarify the situation for you and provide you with the information Councillors have received so that you know what exactly it is that Councillors will be voting on. 

As always, if there is ever anything where I can be of help, please contact me by phone, text or email. 

Best Wishes, 

Ray

  • WHAT DEVELOPMENT IS PLANNED FOR O’DEVANEY GARDENS?
    In January 2017, Dublin City Councillors agreed to revise the 2010 Master Plan which had set out how the O’Devaney Gardens lands would be developed by the Council in partnership with Government. The changes agreed by a majority of Councillors representing a variety of political parties and independents include:
    • The building of homes, of which 50% will be owner-occupier, 30% public housing with the remaining 20%, a mix of affordable purchase and rental.  
      The redevelopment will take place in partnership through the establishment of a Development Agreement (Plan) between Dublin City Council, Government and a Private Developer or Developers. 
  • Dublin City Council established a Public Procurement Process to ascertain the level of interest from private developers and contractors to build and fund this redevelopment. A preferred bidder has now been identified and a draft Development Plan has been reached with regards the redevelopment of the remaining lands within O’Devaney Gardens.
  • WHAT IS CONTAINED IN THE DRAFT DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR O’DEVANEY GARDENS?
    The draft Development Plan agreed between Dublin City Council and Bartra Capital Property Group provides for the construction of 769 homes in addition to the 56 houses already being built. These homes will be built in a sustainable mixed tenure, including public housing that will continue to be in the ownership of Dublin City Council, homes that can be bought through an affordable purchase scheme and others that will be owner-occupier. The tenure mix of these homes will be:
     
    • 8x 2 Bedroom Houses
    • 40x 3 Bedroom Houses
    • 222x 1 Bedroom Apartments
    • 439x 2 Bedroom Apartments
    • 59x 3 Bedroom Apartments
       
  • Dublin City Council will continue to have enhanced controls over the redevelopment, including input into heights, densities of the draft development plan along with restrictions of apartment typologies and tenure. That means NO Studio apartments, NO Shared accommodation and NO Student accommodation complexes will be constructed if this plan is adopted. Furthermore, Bartra Capital Property Group, on the adoption of this Development Plan will have no more than six months to submit a full planning application to An Bord Pleanala under the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016. Other provisions of the draft Development Plan include:
    • No design difference between the three tenure types. 
      Discount on the Public and Affordable homes from the market price. 
      Local Employment clause ensuring that a minimum of 10% of workers on site are local. 
      192 (+56) homes will be Public Housing under the control of Dublin City Council. 
      165 homes will be available for purchase through an Affordable Housing Scheme. 
      411 homes will be available for purchase on only 22% of the available lands in O’Devaney Gardens. 
      New local amenities including Public Park, Public playground, Creche, Community Space and a Community Campus on Infirmary Road (something I have worked on with the co-Chair of the Consultative Forum). 
    IS THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING REALLY AFFORDABLE?
    The short answer is YES. To show you how, let me give you some examples. 
    Example 1:
    Eilis and Cieran
    are a couple with a joint income of €50,000 and are endeavouring to purchase one of the 3x Bedroom Houses worth between €300,000 and €320,000 in O’Devaney Gardens under the affordable purchase scheme. They have a deposit of €31,000 and have successfully applied for a €279,000 loan under the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Scheme. This will mean they have monthly mortgage repayments of €1195 as part of a 30-year deal with a fixed interest rate of 2.5%. This repayment programme represents 32.98% of their net income. These mortgage repayments would amount to €1155 less than the average D7 rent, as of September 20th, 2019, for a similar sized property. 
    Example 2:
    Anthony
    is a single person with an income of €45,000 seeking to purchase a one 1x Bedroom Apartment worth between €240,000 and €250,000 in O’Devaney Gardens under the affordable purchase scheme. Anthony has a deposit of €24,000 and has successfully applied for a loan under the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Scheme. This means he will have monthly mortgage repayments of €946 as part of a 30-year deal with a fixed interest rate of 2.5%. This repayment programme represents 33.23% of his net income. This compares with an average monthly D7 rent of €1608, as of September 20th, 2019. 
    In providing these examples, I wanted to show that both couples and single person applicants under the Government’s successful and much sought Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan Scheme can purchase homes in the redeveloped O’Devaney Gardens given that the 165 affordable units will be set at a fixed price. This element of the redevelopment means that those people who do not qualify for Public Housing with the City Council or have enough means to purchase a home independently can do so in an area they already live in, an area that has been designated as one of the ‘coolest places in the world to live’. 
    WHAT’S NEXT?
    Dublin City Councillors will have the opportunity to vote on October 7th next on whether this draft Development Plan for O’Devaney Gardens is adopted. Some Councillors have stated that this Plan represents a privatisation of public lands. This is not the case. The Council is not selling the site and is NOT GIVING AWAY PUBLIC LANDS. Rather, by voting for this Plan, the Council will formally enter a comprehensive development plan to deliver what Councillors voted for in January 2017. Ultimately, when the homes are built, ownership will revert to the purchasers of these properties, including the owner-occupier and those 165 affordable homes. The actual transfer of title will take place in phases in line with construction and in with the Development Plan which ensures control and oversight of the development at all times. 
    Finally….
    I will VOTE in support of the draft Development Plan that will see, in total, 824 homes built on the former O’Devaney Gardens lands.
    If this Plan is rejected by Councillors, only works on the 56 homes will continue. There is NO PLAN B to build homes on the rest of the O’Devaney Gardens lands. We cannot afford another lost decade to provide new and better housing in O’Devaney Gardens. 

    About raymcadam

    Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee
    This entry was posted in Arbour Hill, Church Street, City Centre, Constitution Hill, Dublin City Council, Fine Gael, Grangegorman, Housing, Markets, Montpelier, North Circular Road, Planning, Quays, Rathdown Road, Smithfield, Stoneybatter. Bookmark the permalink.

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